Nicknamed the ‘Chimp’, South Melbourne’s Robert John Skilton played in an era when South Melbourne had little success but he made a huge impact on the game. Bob’s great pace and remarkable skills made him a frequent target of the opposition.
A rover with the South Melbourne Club, he was among a select band of players to win three Brownlow Medals, 1959, 1963 and 1968.
Skilton played his first game for the club in 1956 and the following year won the club’s best and fairest – an award he virtually made his own. In all, he won the best and fairest nine times over the twelve years from 1957 to 1968, missing out in only 1960 and 1966.
He captained South Melbourne for a club record 11 seasons from 1961 to 1971 and was captain/coach in 1965 and 1966.
He played 237 games for South Melbourne and kicked a total of 403 goals between 1956 and 1971. Three times he was the clubs leading goal kicker, in 1959, 1963, and 1968.
He represented Victoria 25 times and captained Victoria twice. He coached the Melbourne club from 1974 to 1977.